Clicker training is a method of reward based training.
It began back in the 70’s when dolphin trainers looked at ways dogs were traditionally trained and realised that the same method was not going to work with them.
To explain, think back in time to the Barbara Woodhouse eara days of dog training where if you wanted your dog to sit, you would pull its head up sharply with the choke chain round its neck whilst at the same time pushing its bottom to the floor until he took the position (whilst being told in a loud shrill voice to ‘sit’ at the same time!)
Funnily enough dolphin trainers realised this method was not going to work with dolphins!
Dolphin trainers needed to find a way to let the dolphins know exactly when they did something right, even if the dolphin was at the other side of the pool to the trainer, because if they waited until the dolphin came back to give it a fish reward, it would have no idea what it was being rewarded for.
So they had to come up with a hands off, enjoyable, easy to understand, way of training, and that’s where the clicker came in.
How to start using a clicker for training:
Click as the desired behaviour is happening
Follow each click with a food treat
Only one click per behaviour
The clicker marks the end of the behaviour
Keep training sessions short
Practice makes perfect